A meeting of two of the top teams in the American League nearly produced the second no-hitter of the night in MLB, but the Oakland Athletics settled for a 2-1 walk-off win against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Oakland starting pitcher Sean Manaea was perfect through six innings and had a no-hitter through seven innings, leaving a 1-1 game with one out in the eighth. 

That ended Manaea's bid for his second career no-hitter to follow his April 2018 gem against the Boston Red Sox, but Oakland still managed to pull out the victory against the defending AL champions. 

Seth Brown won it for the A's with a two-out home run off Jeffrey Springs in the bottom of the ninth. 

Brown had driven in the previous Oakland run with a single in the seventh inning. 

 

Miley with fourth MLB no-hitter this season

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Wade Miley threw the fourth no-hitter in MLB this season, shutting down the Cleveland Indians for a 3-0 win. Miley's gem came two days after John Means of the Baltimore Orioles no-hit the Seattle Mariners and is the 17th no-hitter in Reds history.

Austin Slater's tie-breaking home run gave the San Francisco Giants a 5-4 win over the San Diego Padres as the top two teams in the National League West squared off. 

The Washington Nationals scored eight runs in the final two innings to break a 3-3 tie and blow out the New York Yankees 11-4. Josh Harrison hit a three-run home run in the eighth and Juan Soto a two-run homer in the ninth for Washington. 

Francisco Lindor hit a two-run homer in the seventh to tie the game and the New York Mets beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-4 with a walk-off bases-loaded ground ball by Patrick Mazeika in the 10th inning. 

Detroit Tigers star Miguel Cabrera singled in his first two at-bats to give him 2,874 hits in his career, passing Babe Ruth for 45th on MLB's all-time list, in a 7-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins. 

 

Phillies get to Morton early

In his first six starts for the Atlanta Braves, Charlie Morton held opponents scoreless in the first inning while allowing only three base-runners. That luck changed Friday, as seven of the nine Philadelphia Phillies he faced in the first reached base and the visitors posted a 6-0 lead while driving Morton from the game in a 12-2 Phillies win. 

 

Flaherty can hit, too

Shohei Ohtani is not the only MLB pitcher who can go deep at the plate. St Louis Cardinals ace Jack Flaherty crushed a pitch from former team-mate Austin Gomber of the Colorado Rockies for a 416-foot home run. On the mound, Flaherty allowed only three hits in seven innings as the Cardinals rolled to a 5-0 win.

 

Friday's results

Chicago Cubs 3-2 Pittsburgh Pirates
Washington Nationals 11-4 New York Yankees
New York Mets 5-4 Arizona Diamondbacks
Miami Marlins 6-1 Milwaukee Brewers
Minnesota Twins 7-3 Detroit Tigers
Philadelphia Phillies 12-2 Atlanta Braves
Seattle Mariners 5-4 Texas Rangers
Boston Red Sox 6-2 Baltimore Orioles
Cincinnati Reds 3-0 Cleveland Indians
Houston Astros 10-4 Toronto Blue Jays
Chicago White Sox 3-0 Kansas City Royals
St Louis Cardinals 5-0 Colorado Rockies
Los Angeles Angels 9-2 Los Angeles Dodgers
Oakland Athletics 2-1 Tampa Bay Rays
San Francisco Giants 5-4 San Diego Padres

 

Nationals at Yankees

Two pitchers with impressive track records will be on display in New York as three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (2-2, 2.54 ERA) and the Washington Nationals visit two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber (2-2, 3.03 ERA) and the Yankees. 

Wade Miley threw the second no-hitter of the week in MLB, shutting down the Cleveland Indians in a X-X Cincinnati Reds win Friday. 

Miley struck out eight Cleveland batters as he delivered the 17th no-hitter in Reds history and the first since Homer Bailey blanked the San Francisco Giants in July 2013. 

While it had been a while since a Cincinnati pitcher no-hit an opponent, Miley followed a trend of such performances in MLB this season. 

His is the fourth no-hitter this term and the second in three days after John Means of the Baltimore Orioles denied the Seattle Mariners a hit on Wednesday. 

Carlos Rodon of the Chicago White Sox and Joe Musgrove of the San Diego Padres recorded no-hitters in April, with Rodon's also coming against the Indians. 

As dominant as Miley was Friday in Cleveland, Indians starter Zach Plesac nearly matched him. 

Plesac allowed only three hits and held the Reds scoreless through his eight innings, putting the pressure on Cincinnati's hitters to back Miley's no-hit bid with some runs. 

That finally happened in the top of the ninth inning thanks to a meltdown from Plesac's replacement, Emmanuel Clase, who allowed singles to the first two batters he faced, then gave the Reds two runs with a throwing error and a balk. 

Miley returned to the mound in the bottom of the inning and made quick work of the Indians, retiring Rene Rivera on a fly ball to right field and striking out Cesar Hernandez before getting Jordan Luplow to ground out to shortstop to end it. 

Jose Altuve celebrated his birthday with a home run as the Houston Astros silenced the boo boys in a 7-4 win at the New York Yankees.

The Astros have been booed relentlessly in their first visit to New York since the sign-stealing scandal.

Houston were found to have stolen signs of opposition teams on the way to winning the championship in 2017, as well as for part of 2018 following an investigation last year.

Yankees fans have made their feelings known throughout the MLB series, but Altuve answered the boos by hitting a go-ahead, three-run homer in the eighth inning on his 31st birthday.

The Astros avoided a series sweep against the Yankees, who had their five-game winning streak snapped on Thursday.

 

Braves end seven-year wait

For the first time since 2014, the Atlanta Braves swept the Washington Nationals thanks to a 3-2 victory. It was a bittersweet outing for Dave Martinez, who oversaw his 411th career game as Nationals manager – a franchise record. Washington's Jon Lester also became the 17th left-handed pitcher in MLB history to record 2,400 career strikeouts.

Taijuan Walker allowed just one hit in seven innings to fuel the New York Mets' 4-1 win away to the St Louis Cardinals.

Randal Grichuk had a memorable game after homering, doubling and driving in five runs as the Toronto Blue Jays rallied past the Oakland Athletics 10-4. Marcus Semien homered among his four hits for the Blue Jays, who split the series in Oakland.

The Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox combined to score 21 runs without hitting a homer – the latter were 12-9 victors. It is the first time that many runs were scored without a homer at Fenway Park in a nine-inning game since 1961.

 

Twins and their extra-inning woes continue

The Minnesota Twins were outlasted 4-3 by the Texas Rangers after 10 innings. This season, the Twins are 0-7 in extra innings.

The Miami Marlins edged the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1 but Pablo Lopez is still searching for a win. Lopez improved his ERA to 0.38 over his last four starts following his five-inning, 0 earned-run no decision. Per Stats Perform, he is the first pitcher since ERA became official in 1913 to have a four-start span with 20-plus innings pitched, an ERA under 0.50 and no wins.

 

Ohtani homers… again

Two-way Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani hit his 10th home run of the season in an 8-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. With his homer, it is the second time this year Ohtani has been the starting pitcher one day and then homered the next. According to Stats Perform, the Japanese sensation is the first player in the modern era to do so in the same season.

 

Thursday's results

Houston Astros 7-4 New York Yankees
Philadelphia Phillies 2-0 Milwaukee Brewers
Boston Red Sox 12-9 Detroit Tigers
Texas Rangers 4-3 Minnesota Twins
New York Mets 4-1 St Louis Cardinals
Cleveland Indians 4-0 Kansas City Royals
Toronto Blue Jays 10-4 Oakland Athletics
Atlanta Braves 3-2 Washington Nationals
Miami Marlins 3-1 Arizona Diamondbacks
Tampa Bay Rays 8-3 Los Angeles Angels

 

Dodgers at Angels

It will be an all-Los Angeles affair as city rivals the Dodgers (17-15) and Angels (13-17) meet on Friday. Slumping World Series champions the Dodgers have lost three straight games and eight of their last 10. The Dodgers will send Julio Urias to the mound, while Griffin Canning starts for the Angels.

Los Angeles Angels general manager Perry Minasian insisted there is "never a right time for something like this" after the MLB franchise designated future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols for assignment.

Pujols' future is in limbo following Thursday's announcement – a procedural move that will lead to his release by the end of the week, less than two months into the last season of the slugger's 10-year, $240million contract.

The oldest active player in the majors, the 41-year-old Pujols popped out to first in his final at-bat with the Angels in Tuesday's ninth inning before sitting out Wednesday in the team's fourth straight loss. 

One of the greatest sluggers in baseball history, Pujols' 667 home runs rank fifth while his 669 doubles are also fifth-most of all time, but he has been batting mere .198 this season, though has homered five times and is fourth on the Angels with 12 RBIs.

"There's never a right time for something like this," Minasian said. "Obviously, I have all the respect in the world for what type of player he is; this is more about playing time and who we have."

"Albert is not a bench player," Minasian continued. "We felt like for him, with respect to him, keeping him on the bench, him not getting any playing time, would not do him any good or the team any good.

"Never a good time for this, but with that being said, we felt like it was the best thing for the organisation."

Only Hank Aaron has more RBIs than Pujols' 2,112 since it became an official statistic in 1920, and Pujols is 13th on the all-time hits list with 3,253.

Pujols enjoyed great success with the St Louis Cardinals, where he led the franchise to two World Series championships, one other National League (NL) pennant and six division crowns.

A unanimous NL Rookie of the Year Award winner in 2001 when he hit .329 with 37 home runs and 130 RBIs, Pujols made his first of nine All-Star selections with the Cardinals.

In his 11 seasons in St Louis, Pujols won three NL MVP Awards and finished in the top five in voting seven other times. 

He left St Louis after helping the Cardinals win the 2011 World Series to sign a mega deal with the Angels.

After slugging 445 home runs with 455 doubles while slashing .328/.420/.617 for a 1.037 OPS in 1,705 games over 11 seasons with the Cardinals, Pujols never lived up to expectations over 10 seasons with the Angels, hitting 222 homers with 214 doubles with a .256/.311/.447 slash line for a .758 OPS in 1,181 games.

His production dropped off significantly in the past four seasons, with 53 homers and a .239/.290/.414 slash line for a .704 OPS in 311 games.

He only earned one trip to the All-Star game since joining the Angels and the franchise made just one postseason appearance, getting swept by the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 American League Division Series (ALDS).

"He's as professional as any player I've ever dealt with," Minasian said. "There was no fight, there was no argument; this was a conversation that went back and forth.

"He expressed his feelings, we expressed ours; he understood where we stood on the whole situation. Things did not end bad. I gave him a big hug."

"He's as motivated as he's ever been," Minasian added. "If the situation was different and there were at-bats for him to play here, it'd be different. But let me put it this way -- if he does go somewhere else, and pursue playing somewhere else, I would not bet against him."

Angels manager Joe Maddon said: "Everybody will tell you the same thing; if you watch Albert work, it's pretty impressive. He's been around for a bit, he's been playing for a while, but he came to the ballpark with the same zeal on a daily basis. That's what I saw.

"The guy wanted to play, he wants to be on the field; he does not want to be a bench player of any kind. This guy has got a lot of pride, and that's a big reason why he's going to be a first-ballot unanimous Hall of Famer."

The Toronto Blue Jays are expecting to wait a while before they get top offseason recruit George Springer back from the injured list. 

Toronto placed Springer on the 10-day injured list with a right quad strain on Wednesday, with the move retroactive to May 3. 

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins believes star Springer will need more than the minimum length of time to return to the MLB line-up. 

"I would expect it would take more than just the IL stint," Atkins told reporters on Thursday.

"There's a chance I'm wrong, but based on the information that I have right now, I would expect that it would take longer than that IL stint."

Springer had been serving as a designated hitter following his long-awaited Blue Jays debut on April 28.

The 31-year-old has appeared in four games, hitting two home runs against the Atlanta Braves last week but going one for 10 with four strikeouts in his other appearances.

Springer left Sunday's game after three at-bats, complaining of what manager Charlie Montoyo called only "fatigue".  

The World Series champion and MVP joined Toronto on a six-year, $150million contract from the Houston Astros via free agency ahead of the 2021 season, the largest deal in Blue Jays history.

His setback is just one of a number of injury issues for the Blue Jays, who put pitcher David Phelps on the IL on Thursday with a right lat strain as infielder Joe Panik had an MRI after feeling calf pain while running on Wednesday. 

Earlier this week, Toronto put pitchers Tommy Milone (shoulder) and Anthony Castro (forearm) on the IL along with catcher Alejandro Kirk (hip). 

Albert Pujols' 10-year stint with Los Angeles Angles is over after the franchise surprisingly designated the future Hall of Fame slugger for assignment on Thursday.

The oldest active player in the majors at 41 years old, Pujols popped out to first in his final at-bat with the Angels in Tuesday's ninth inning before sitting out Wednesday in the club's fourth straight loss. 

He is batting a mere .198 this season, though has homered five times and is fourth on the Angels with 12 RBIs.

'"The Angels organization proudly signed Albert Pujols in 2011, and are honoured that he has worn an Angels jersey for nearly half of his Hall of Fame career,'" Angels owner Arte Moreno said in a statement.

"Albert's historical accomplishments, both on and off the field, serve as an inspiration to athletes everywhere, and his actions define what it means to be a true superstar. 

"Since his Rookie of the Year season in 2001, Albert and his wife Deidre have generously given their time and resources to countless charities throughout the world. We are thankful to the entire Pujols family."

One of the greatest sluggers in baseball history, Pujols' 667 home runs rank fifth while his 669 doubles are also fifth-most of all time. 

Only Hank Aaron has more RBIs than Pujols' 2,112 since it became an official statistic in 1920, and Pujols is 13th on the all-time hits list with 3,253.

While he is a sure-fire Hall of Famer, much of his production came in the first half of his career with the St. Louis Cardinals.

A unanimous NL Rookie of the Year Award winner in 2001 when he hit .329 with 37 home runs and 130 RBIs, Pujols made his first of nine All-Star selections with the Cardinals.

In his 11 seasons in St. Louis, Pujols won three NL MVP Awards and finished in the top five in voting seven other times. 

He led the Cardinals to two World Series championships, one other NL pennant and six division crowns.

He left St. Louis after helping the Cardinals win the 2011 World Series to sign a 10-year, $240 million contract with Los Angeles in a move that has served as a cautionary tale for franchises considering giving long-term deals to players on the wrong side of 30 years old.

After slugging 445 home runs with 455 doubles while slashing .328/.420/.617 for a 1.037 OPS in 1,705 games over 11 seasons with the Cardinals, Pujols never lived up to expectations over 10 seasons with the Angels, hitting 222 homers with 214 doubles with a .256/.311/.447 slash line for a .758 OPS in 1,181 games.

His production dropped off significantly in the past four seasons, with 53 homers and a .239/.290/.414 slash line for a .704 OPS in 311 games.

He only earned one trip to the All-Star game since joining Los Angeles and the franchise made just one postseason appearance, getting swept by the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 American League Division Series.

Pujols is making $30 million in salary this season, and should another team pick him up after he clears waivers, the Angels still would owe him the rest of his $30 million.

A new day but the same result for struggling World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers, who suffered a 6-5 walk-off defeat to the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.

The Dodgers were condemned to walk-off misery in game two of Tuesday's doubleheader and the slumping MLB holders experienced the same fate midweek.

Anthony Rizzo hit an RBI single in a two-run 11th inning to lift the Cubs, who completed a sweep of the Dodgers at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

The Cubs swept the Dodgers – who lost for the 13th time in 17 games following a 13-2 start to the season – at Wrigley Field for the first time since 2008.

Meanwhile, Baltimore Orioles ace John Means entered the MLB history books after throwing a no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners.

Means threw the Orioles' first solo no-hitter since Jim Palmer in 1969 as Baltimore blanked the Mariners 6-0.

It was an almost perfect performance for Means, who retired all 27 batters he faced in Seattle but did allow a baserunner when Sam Haggerty reached on a third-strike wild pitch in the third inning.

Means is the first pitcher to throw a non-perfect no-hitter in which the team did not record a walk, hit by pitch or error.

According to Stats Perform, Means is also the second pitcher in American League (AL) history to throw a no-hitter with 12-plus strikeouts and 0 walks, joining Felix Fernandez – who had a perfect game in 2012.

 

Fulmer follows in Ryan's footsteps

Detroit Tigers pitcher Michael Fulmer earned his first career save in a 6-5 win over the Boston Red Sox. Fulmer retied Bobby Dalbec and Kike Hernandez to snap Detroit's six-game skid. According to Stats Perform, Fulmer is the first pitcher to get a save the day after a start of less than an inning since Nolan Ryan in 1973.

Marcell Ozuna hit a grand slam to lead the Atlanta Braves past the Washington Nationals 5-3, while Didi Gregorius also managed a grand slam as the Philadelphia Phillies topped the Milwaukee Brewers 5-4.

Giancarlo Stanton stayed hot with a homer and four runs in the New York Yankees' 6-3 win against the Houston Astros. Stanton homered in back-to-back games for the first time since last July as the Yankees extended their winning streak to six games.

 

A's falter against Jays

The Oakland Athletics were leading the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 before faltering. Toronto produced a five-run eighth inning to rally past the A's. Lou Trivino struggled in the eighth, allowing three hits, five runs – all earned – and two walks. Toronto won 9-4.

 

Ohtani the freak

Is there anything Shohei Ohtani cannot do? The two-way Los Angeles Angels star – returning to the mound – caught his own pitch in a fine example of his fielding and agility. Ohtani pitched five scoreless innings, giving up just one hit while striking out seven but the Angels still lost 3-1 to the Tampa Bay Rays.

 

Wednesday results

Cincinnati Reds 1-0 Chicago White Sox
Colorado Rockies 6-5 San Francisco Giants
Baltimore Orioles 6-0 Seattle Mariners
St Louis Cardinals 4-1 New York Mets
New York Mets 7-2 St Louis Cardinals
Miami Marlins 8-0 Arizona Diamondbacks
Atlanta Braves 5-3 Washington Nationals
New York Yankees 6-3 Houston Astros
Philadelphia Phillies 5-4 Milwaukee Brewers
Detroit Tigers 6-5 Boston Red Sox
Chicago Cubs 6-5 Los Angeles Dodgers
Texas Rangers 3-1 Minnesota Twins
Cleveland Indians 5-4 Kansas City Royals
San Diego Padres 4-2 Pittsburgh Pirates
Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 Los Angeles Angels
Toronto Blue Jays 9-4 Oakland Athletics

 

Blue Jays at Athletics

The Blue Jays will look to split their series away to the Athletics on Thursday. Blue Jays ace Ryu Hyun-jin starts, while the A's counter with Mike Fiers.

The Toronto Blue Jays placed star George Springer on the 10-day injured list with a right quad strain, the MLB franchise announced on Wednesday.

Springer's stint on the IL is retroactive to May 3, while outfielder Jonathan Davis has been recalled to the active roster for the midweek clash against the Oakland Athletics.

Toronto's prized recruit Springer underwent an MRI earlier on Wednesday, having been absent from the line-up on Monday and Tuesday following his removal from Sunday's game in what manager Charlie Montoyo described "fatigue".

"The main reason we did it is because we didn't see him improving fast enough, so we decided to have some imaging done to determine the next steps on him," said Montoyo as Springer's start to life in Toronto is hampered by injury.

Springer had been playing as a designated hitter following his long-awaited Blue Jays debut last month.

The World Series champion and MVP, who joined Toronto on a six-year, $150million contract from the Houston Astros via free agency ahead of the 2021 season – the largest deal in Blue Jays history, hit a pair of home runs against the Atlanta Braves last week.

"I wouldn't call it severe," Montoyo said on Tuesday. "He wasn't going to be out six weeks or four weeks, so I wouldn't call it severe, that's for sure.

"That's why he came back as soon as he did, because it was never severe. When it happened, he never really limped off the field, he just stopped running and went inside because he felt the quad."

In 15 at-bats this season, three-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger Springer has tallied three hits, three runs, two homers and three RBI with a .200 batting average.

New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom could return to the mound against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.

DeGrom was diagnosed with inflammation in his right lat following an MRI on Tuesday, though the star pitcher avoided the injured list having been shut down for the "next few days".

The two-time National League (NL) Cy Young Award winner was scratched from his scheduled start against the St Louis Cardinals on Tuesday before the MLB showdown was postponed due to inclement weather.

The Mets open a three-game series against the Diamondbacks on Friday.

"I was a little bit more sore after my last start. Didn't think too much of it," DeGrom said on Wednesday.

"I noticed my mechanics were off. Looked at some of the video and got some of the numbers, and my arm was down a little bit and ... flying open. So that's obviously going to put more stress on my arm."

"Feeling good now. The plan is to see the doctor again tomorrow and let him re-evaluate," DeGrom said. "It's in a good spot, I guess. If it kind of creeps up towards the armpit, then it's not good, but the spot it's in is definitely manageable."

DeGrom is boasting an MLB-best 0.51 ERA through his five games in MLB in 2021.

The three-time All-Star has allowed 16 hits, five runs and just two homers for the Mets, while he has struck out 59 batters.

DeGrom tied Nolan Ryan's record for most strikeouts through a pitcher's first five starts of a season.

The 32-year-old tallied nine strikeouts over six innings against the Boston Red Sox last month to improve his five-game total to 59, matching Ryan's feat in 1978.

DeGrom also ranks first for strikeouts per nine innings (15.17) among pitchers this season.

Baltimore Orioles ace John Means entered the MLB history books after throwing a no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners.

Means threw the Orioles' first solo no-hitter since Jim Palmer in 1969 as Baltimore blanked the Mariners 6-0 on Wednesday.

It was an almost perfect performance for Means, who retired all 27 batters he faced in Seattle but did allow a baserunner when Sam Haggerty reached on a third-strike wild pitch in the third inning.

Means is the first pitcher to throw a non-perfect no-hitter in which the team did not record a walk, hit by pitch or error.

According to Stats Perform, Means is also the second pitcher in American League (AL) history to throw a no-hitter with 12-plus strikeouts and 0 walks, joining Felix Fernandez – who had a perfect game in 2012.

"I can't put it into words right now. It's unbelievable," the 28-year-old and 2019 All-Star said afterwards.

"I felt OK all game. I didn't really have the changeup till the end, but I'm glad I got it going."

Means produced the third no-hitter of the season and the 10th in franchise history.

San Diego Padres ace Joe Musgrove and Chicago White Sox star Carlos Rodon have also pitched no-hitters in 2021.

Clayton Kershaw and Trevor Bauer were on the mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday, but the MLB World Series champions were still swept by the Chicago Cubs.

Dodgers ace Kershaw and reigning National League (NL) Cy Young Award winner Bauer started in games one and two respectively, however, the Cubs were 7-1 and 4-3 victors to sweep the doubleheader in Chicago.

The Cubs secured the day-night sweep in walk-off fashion as the Dodgers lost for the eighth time in 10 games.

Elsewhere, the Houston Astros were greeted by boos and bad words in their first visit to New York since the sign-stealing scandal.

New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom has been shut down for the "next few days" due to inflammation in his right lat.

DeGrom was scratched from his scheduled start against the St Louis Cardinals on Tuesday before the MLB showdown was postponed due to inclement weather.

After undergoing an MRI, DeGrom avoided the injured list but will "refrain from throwing" for a short period, the Mets said in a statement.

DeGrom – a two-time National League (NL) Cy Young Award winner – has been red-hot for the Mets this season.

Entering Tuesday's play, DeGrom boasted an MLB-best 0.51 ERA through his five games in MLB in 2021.

The three-time All-Star has allowed 16 hits, five runs and just two homers for the Mets, while he has struck out 59 batters.

DeGrom tied Nolan Ryan's record for most strikeouts through a pitcher's first five starts of a season.

The 32-year-old tallied nine strikeouts over six innings against the Boston Red Sox last month to improve his five-game total to 59, matching Ryan's feat in 1978.

DeGrom also ranks first for strikeouts per nine innings (15.17) among pitchers this season.

Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani will return to the mound against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday.

Ohtani was scheduled to start against the Rays on Monday but was scratched after being hit by a pitch in the Angels' loss to the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.

But the Japanese sensation, who has continued to bat, will return to pitching when the Angels face the Rays midweek.

"We wanted to make sure he went out there and threw a little bit more today," Angels manager Joe Maddon said prior to Tuesday's game against the Rays, having lost the series opener 7-3.

"He was really eager to pitch [Wednesday], so like everything else, conversationally I'm letting him tell me how he feels and then we make our decisions."

Ohtani has started three games this season, allowing six hits, seven runs – five earned – while striking out 23 batters with an ERA of 3.29.

At the plate, Ohtani boasts career highs for slugging percentage (.641) and on-base plus slugging (.959) in 2021.

Ohtani has tallied 20 runs and 28 hits, with nine homers and 22 RBI for the Angels while averaging .272.

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was left embarrassed by his shortest career start in MLB, labelling the performance "horrible".

Kershaw – a future Hall of Famer – lasted just one inning in game one of a doubleheader against the Chicago Cubs, who beat the World Series champions 7-1 on Tuesday.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner and 2014 National League (NL) MVP allowed four runs in the opening inning at Wrigley Field. It was only the second time in his illustrious career where he allowed four or more runs in the first inning.

"It's embarrassing. No excuses," Dodgers veteran Kershaw – also an eight-time All-Star – said after giving up four hits and two walks while striking out two.

"That was horrible. I put our team in a really bad spot in the doubleheader. 

"Thankfully, the 'pen stepped up and ate some innings for me. Just chalk it up to a really bad start and get ready for the next one."

Kershaw added: "I could overanalyse it and try and think about it, but I have no idea. Everything was bad.

"I'm not going to try and analyse it too much. Just hope this one was an outlier and get ready for the next one."

Kershaw's ERA rose from 2.09 to 2.95 as the stuttering Dodgers lost for the seventh time in nine games.

"I would have liked to continue to go and try to be better," the 33-year-old said. "But when you're that bad, you really can't stand up for yourself too much."

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said: "I just think the volume in that first inning, and kind of looking out at the upside of having him go back out there, I just didn’t see it.

"It just didn't seem like he had the feel for any spin today, and even the fastball location just wasn't what it normally is. For me, it's an outlier outing and we've just got to move forward."

J.T. Realmuto hit a home run into deep left field as the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3 in the MLB on Monday.

Trailing 1-0 at the bottom of the first, Realmuto hit his third home run of the season with a second tier two-run homer to put the Phillies 2-1 up.

For the Brewers, they welcomed back Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain from injury but that failed to fire their offense, which has not quite been on song this season.

Cain did return from his quadriceps injury with a lean-back home run in the first inning.

The Phillies improve to 14-15, while the Brewers are now 17-12.

 

Big homers from Laureano and Mullins

On a day where 21 home runs were scored, Ramon Laureano creamed a beauty for the Oakland Athletics in their 5-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

With scores 3-3 at the bottom of the fifth, Laureano made it three straight games with home runs to help his side to a 5-3 lead, which they hung on to.

Cedric Mullins got the ball rolling for the Baltimore Orioles as they scored five times in the eight inning in their 5-3 win over the Seattle Mariners.

Down 1-0 at the top of the eighth, Mullins hit a home run which just eluded Mitch Haniger in center-field.

The Los Angeles Angels went down 7-3 to the Tampa Bay Rays although Shohei Ohtani hit another home run to take his season tally to nine.

 

'How about that play!?'

Pittsburgh Pirates third-baseman Erik Gonzalez made a brilliant play diving to his right and firing to first base to run out Will Myers in the San Diego Padres' 2-0 win.

 

Lights out in St. Louis

With two out in the ninth inning, the lights quite literally went out at the Busch Stadium with batter Alex Reyes quickly backing away in the Cardinals' win over the Mets, although it was only a brief delay.

 

Monday's results

Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 Milwaukee Brewers
Minnesota Twins 6-5 Texas Rangers
St. Louis Cardinals 6-5 New York Mets
Cleveland Indians 8-6 Kansas City Royals
Tampa Bay Rays 7-3 Los Angeles Angels
Oakland Athletics 5-4 Toronto Blue Jays
San Diego Padres 2-0 Pittsburgh Pirates
Baltimore Orioles 5-3 Seattle Mariners 

 

Brewers at Phillies

There is a full fixture card on Tuesday including two double-headers, while the Philadelphia Phillies continue their series against the fast-starting Milwaukee Brewers.

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